Today was Lilly's Super Sweet 3rd Birthday, and it was such a great day I was almost in happy-tears throughout the day. God has given us such a blessing in our little girl and she sure exploited all her charm today. As background, we've only been back in Charlottesville for 2 days, so we are half-unpacked and the house is a mess. But this morning when we woke up, we decided the organization can wait, because today is about Lilly. None of our NZ boxes have arrived yet (we just have the 5 suitcases we took on the plane so far) so Lilly doesn't have many toys set out; but we went through our bonus room storage and found some age-appropriate things for her to play with and set up her playroom downstairs. She now has a play kitchen, table, pretend stuff, blocks, and, most importantly, a karaoke machine set up. We played for awhile with all her "new" (old) things, and she also got to open her gifts from daddy - a "my first" t-ball set and golf set. Oh what a lucky girl to be swinging bats and clubs at balls and mommy & daddy. But we survived.
Then Lilly and I decided that, since it was her birthday, we would go shopping. I know I have a reputation but really we haven't bought much in the year we were gone, and I've barely been in a clothes store since I've been back. So, we went out to buy Lilly and I new dresses for her birthday party tonite. Lilly was an excellent shopper, and managed to talk us both into two dresses each instead of one. Oh well, it's her birthday. :)
So then we went to Giant Food to pick up her princess birthday cake. She got a balloon and a free cookie. What a lucky girl! We drove home, ate lunch, and she took a nice nap while we cleaned up for the party.
After her nap, Lilly and I decided to have a dance party. She is an incredible dancer, and follows directions really well, so I was making up little dance routines and she was copying me. Like, "twirl, twirl, twirl, then jump up, come down, and clap your hands." She loved it. We put in Christine & Chris's cd from their wedding, and we danced for about an hour. It was one of the most precious moments I've ever had with my daughter. Since Lilly was in such a great mood, I decided she should try karaoke for the first time (well not really the first but first time since she was really little). We dusted off the old karaoke machine, found a high school musical karaoke cd that we just happened to have (it came free with one of her dvds), and spent the next 20 minutes singing & dancing. She knows all the words to the songs, but was shy at first, but then started getting into it.
By this time, her boyfriend Jack and his parents and adorable baby sister Erin came over (we hadn't met her yet as she was born while we were in NZ), and we celebrated Lilly's birthday with pizza, ice cream, and cake. Lilly opened her big present from us (well, from me - Jon's gift was the sporty things), so my gift to Lilly was appropriately a Cinderella's castle that's like a dollhouse - it opens up and comes with 5 princesses and their princes, and lots of furniture, etc. What a lucky girl! After our friends left, Lilly, mommy & daddy karaoke-ed some more, and this time Lilly sang along to all of it. If you look at the pictures, Lilly & Jon are totally mouthing the same exact thing at the same time.
The day ended with me putting the princess to sleep, in her new "big girl bed" (it's her 3rd night to sleep in it, and is doing well besides some late night wandering and sometimes waking up across the room instead of on the mattress). Of course I get emotional and start telling Lilly about the day she was born, and she interrupts my heartfelt story to sing "where is thumbkin." She was so cute with the hand movements for it (and I love when she sings on her own) but she couldn't get that song out of her head, as she did it about 100 times before falling asleep. Oh well, it's her birthday.
We did all our favorite things today - eating, shopping, playing, dancing, and singing. We were so fortunate 3 years ago when Lilly arrived in our lives. Lilly is the best little girl a mommy could ever hope for.
***I promise that I will get to writing the rest of our Disney Trip Report. Not trying to make it a huge cliffhanger; we had a wonderful time but there are too many memories and pictures for me to tackle! I will get the next installment written this week.***